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Beverage industry in Philippines opposes additional tax on soft drinks

DBR Staff Writer Published 11 December 2014

The beverage industry in the Philippines has opposed a proposal to impose additional tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, claiming that the tax would not tackle the obesity problem.

The House Bill 3365, which was authored by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, aims to levy a 10% additional tax on sweetened drinks, reports Philstar.com.

The aim of the bill is to prevent people from consuming too much of sugary drinks, which has been accused of the growing obesity and other related health problems in the country.

The Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines (BIAP) submitted a paper to Congress last week, stating: "Taxation is the wrong policy tool to address obesity and other related health issues. There is no scientific evidence which shows a direct correlation between soft drink consumption and obesity rates.

"On a mean one-day per capita food consumption by food groups in the Philippines, calories from sugar and syrup constitute only 1.9 percent of total food intake."

BIAP claimed that the tax only targets carbonated drinks and does not consider the negative impact of other food and beverages on public health.